Just the idea of exercising makes my teenage self cringe. In true “Daria” fashion I found any and every way to get out of gym class and I thought sports were just a gateway into group-think and ritual sacrifice. Truthfully, my attitudes haven’t changed much about sports but I’m coming to terms with the fact that my lifestyle of eating snacks in bed with my laptop just isn’t sustainable.
About a year and a half ago I joined a gym. My frequency of use ebbs and flows but I try my best to keep it up because it’s healthy and it helps with anxiety, blah, blah, blah. I don’t need to sell you on the benefits of cardio. I enjoy the aspects of working out in a gym because of the general temperature control and the ability to read or watch movies while I’m sweating. Plus, any activity that involves both sun and sweating is not for me. I can handle one or the other, together they kill me.
When I’m having a particularly productive gym week and my stamina is up I forgo audio books and podcasts for some sweat-inducing tunes. I’m not big on streaming music, I prefer to make my own playlists and cut out all those boring ads.
One day when I was really dreading getting on the StairMaster and had no energy to sift through my music collection, I recalled back to my high school days and decided to see if VampireFreaks.com was still a thing and if they still uploaded extensive EBM/synthpop/darkwave/industrial mixes. Lo and behold I discovered they had their very own streaming station, Sanctuary Radio, with the full versions of all the obscure clips I once heard in the mash-ups of the early aughts. After building up my mental library of songs I liked I was able to compile a playlist of my own.
I’m not sure what could be better than violently pumping beats and morbid lyrics to help you motivate yourself to keep sweating the despair out of your sad and soft goth body. Put away your Morrisey and Joy Division, put down your coffee and cigarettes, lace up your black cross-trainers and let these tracks keep you moving for a solid 45 minutes, because despair takes psychical endurance.
5 Min – Nitzer Ebb
Slow and steady, let Nitzer Ebb pump you up with “Join in the Chant!” Picture a stack of burning books and lines of soldiers. Run, run away from the dystopian future!
10 Min – KMFDM
OK, you’re in it now! KMFDM’s grinding guitars in “KUNST” will help you turn up your resistance just a touch and build up speed with the beat. Kill muthafuckin’ Depeche Mode!
15 Min – Faderhead
You’ve found your groove, let the sirens kick in and guide your rage. Faderhead will take you to the club with “TZDV.” You’re sweating and it sucks. Imagine sweating this much while wearing a PVC corset, you can do it!
20 Min – Assemblage 23
Even out your speed and check your levels. Take a swig of water and let the synths move your feet. Assemblage 23 paints a bleak picture of a winding road in “Drive,” run down it like zombies are at your back.
25 Min – Front Line Assembly
Continue with this more sinister jam, “Final Impact” by Front Line Assembly, and don’t let yourself slow down!
30 Min – Covenant
You want to die at this point. Envision a frozen Scandinavian landscape to cool down. “Call the Ships to Port” by Covenant, has just enough pulse to keep you energized.
35 Min – Rotersand
Shit’s getting real. EXTERMINATE, ANNIHILATE, DESTROY! Let the gritty sounds of Rotsersand’s “Exterminate” capture the pain emanating from your muscles.
40 Min – Noize Suppressor
THIS IS NOT A DRILL! Move your ass as fast as you possibly can for the 4 minutes and 30 seconds of this track. Noize Supressor’s “Ears Bleed” might make your heart explode,
45 Min – Apoptygma Berzerk & VNV Nation
You made it! Cool down a bit with “Kathy’s Song” by Apoptygma Berzerk, remixed by VNV Nation. Begin thinking about what scent of incense you’ll burn for your your post-workout stretch session.